More than a month after November elections, a group supporting Oregon's ballot measure 92, an effort to require labeling of genetically engineered foods in the state, has conceded.
A narrow margin in the Nov. 4 elections warranted a recount, and though hand counts began Dec. 2 the group challenged the state in a lawsuit over about 4,600 ballots that went uncounted due to signature issues.
Ultimately, a judge declined to grant the group's request for a restraining order, which would have prevented recounted votes to be certified, the Statesman Journal reported.
"We have examined all other legal options and have found there are none that could succeed in getting the remaining votes counted before the election is certified," the group, Yes on 92 Oregon Right to Know, said in a released statement.
"Given the razor-thin margin in this race, and the failure to count every valid ballot, we believe that Oregonians will never know for sure what the true outcome of this race was.
"That said, we intend to abide by the judge’s decision and will not pursue any further legal action," the group wrote.
According to The Oregonian, measure 92 was the "costliest campaign in state history, with supporters spending more than $8 million and opponents nearly $21 million."
As of Dec. 11, the Oregon Secretary of State's unofficial results put the race at 752,737 votes for the measure and 753,574 votes against.
Only one state, Vermont, has approved a GMO labeling law with no statutory barriers to implementation.
D.C. lawmakers are currently discussing a national GMO labeling standard with Food and Drug Administration oversight, which supporters say would eliminate concerns of "patchwork" state laws that can impact interstate commerce.
Supporters of state labeling laws suggest a national voluntary standard could circumvent consumers' "right to know."